BINGHAMTON (WBNG) – The last time the Devils AHL franchise had a player reach the 30-goal mark was in the 2014-15 season when Paul Thompson tallied 33 in 73 games. Nick Lappin reached 30 goals in 58 games and is the Binghamton Devils leading goalscorer.
"He’s been our most consistent guy offensively," said Binghamton Devils head coach Rick Kowalsky.
A career-high 30 goals for Nick Lappin. He’s tied for second most in the AHL.
"Just has a nose for the net," said Kowalsky. He’s a natural goal-scorer, and ever since I’ve coached him, he’s done what we’re seeing this year."
"Sometimes you get a little hot and pucks start finding ways to go in," said Binghamton Devils forward Nick Lappin.
But, what’s the difference between a glove save and burying the puck in the back of the net?
"Not much," said Lappin. "I mean, inches at times."
"How quick the goalie is," said Kowalsky.
That tells you how difficult scoring 30 goals in the AHL is. Not to mention, six of those were game-winners.
"This time of year he seems to be a clutch guy," said Kowalsky. "Obviously, we’re not in a playoff run, but he’s playing some of his best hockey."
"Anytime you can score and help the team win, that makes the game that much better," said Lappin.
Lappin has scored in the NHL too, with five tallies in 49 career games.
"It’s something I’ve dreamed about my entire life," said Lappin. "Playing hockey professional and hopefully one day becoming a regular in the NHL."
So, how close is he?
"I think the biggest thing for me to be a regular up there would probably be trying to play a little faster, a little quicker," said Lappin.
"Some of those areas where his game needs to improve, you can look past them a little bit, because of his ability to score and be around the net," said Kowalsky. "Like I said, he’s proven he can do that at the NHL level."
"If he continues to work and develop in some of those other areas," said Kowalsky. "He’s certainly going to give himself a chance to be a regular NHLer."
Lappin is two goals behind Valentin Zykov to be the AHL’s leading scorer. Zykov is playing with the Carolina Hurricanes in the NHL now. Lappin would need three goals in the next six games to take the lead, and then hold off the rest of the field as well.